Buying Used/refurbed: Thoughts on ebay/Swappa/Gazelle/CL/Glyde

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by oldtime, Jan 19, 2017.

  1. oldtime macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2007
    My 5s unexpectedly died a death and now I need to replace it. I have a budget of ~$320 and have settled on the SE. From what I can gather, buying a refurb from Apple is the best/safest option, but also the spendiest and would require me to go over my budget. On the other hand, buying from eBay or CL seems the cheapest option, but perhaps also the riskiest. If I go that route, I can afford a 64GB SE, which would be immensely preferable to settling for 16GB. In the middle there are sites like Gazelle and Swappa, which seem to have somewhat mixed, but generally favorable reviews.

    I'm mostly looking for advice from people who have bought used phones from these sites -- what was your experience like? Buying a good-looking SE for $280 from an eBay seller that has 99+% feedback is awfully tempting, but it does make me nervous.
  2. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Dec 17, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I personally think Craigslist is the riskiest option, because you have no fallback post-purchase if there's a problem with the phone, the buyer reports it stolen, etc.

    eBay (and Paypal) has pretty good buyer protection in place, and you can generally expect good results if you are reasonably careful. Only consider auctions from sellers with significant positive feedback, make sure you read the descriptions carefully, and make sure you test all features upon receiving the phone. I've gotten some great deals on used iPhones on EBay. I've also received iCloud-locked phones before that were described as fully functional, but have always received my money back with EBay's assistance. It's also possible to find used iPhones that still have some Apple warranty period left, which is another good safety net.

    I have no experience dealing with Gazelle and Swappa, although I have bought items on eBay before from Gazelle's eBay store. I once had to return an item, but the return was easy and I did not have to resort to filling a claim with eBay.

    If you're careful and patient you can find a iPhone 6s or 6s Plus within your budget on EBay. I would not recommend buying an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus (from any marketplace or store), because of the Touch Disease issue that seems to hit many of them (mainly the 6 Plus I guess.)
  3. oldtime thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2007
    I suppose you're right -- there are certainly more protections in place for buyers on eBay. I think I may go that route and hope for the best.
  4. atlas_0 Suspended


    Dec 30, 2016
    Shop carefully on Swappa. I've sold about two dozen things on there, and ensure all are mint, priced well, and include original packaging, serial numbers and IMEIs match, etc. You want to look for these kind of listings. Well cared for devices, detailed info.

    Skip the ones that seem too good to be true, lack clear photos, or that don't have a responsive seller. Do that and you'll get a good deal and a good phone.
  5. oldtime thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2007
    Thanks. Common sense certainly goes a long way when buying third party. I've only ever been ripped off when I first discovered eBay in the mid/late nineties and, indeed, fell for a too good to be true listing. How naive I was then to just assume the internet was filled only with honest people :)
  6. Beachguy macrumors 6502a


    Nov 23, 2011
    Oldtime, I can't add anything new here, but would hope you post a followup here to let us know how it goes.
  7. Babu Life macrumors member

    Babu Life

    Sep 8, 2016
    i love swappa, fair prices, and buyer protection if you pay with PayPal

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